The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
If you’re a track and field fan, I suggest you take in a College of San Mateo track meet before one of the best sprinters you’ll ever get to see in person moves on.
Fortunately for you, CSM is hosting its second meet in three weeks, when the CSM Open kicks off Friday at 11 a.m., so you’ll have a chance to catch CSM freshman Yan-Jun (Sophie) Liao, who leads the California Community College Athletic Association in both the 100 and 200 sprints.
Having won the Chinese Taipei national championship with a time of 11.64 last year as a 19-year-old, the now 20-year-old freshman is rapidly dropping time this season, having lowered her time at CSM by nearly a tenth of a second following her performance at the Stanford Invitational last weekend.
She came into the race having posted a season-best 11.92 at the Sacramento State Hornet Invitational March 15, and thanks to a strong field at Stanford, lowered that time to 11.86 as she finished fifth in a race won by 2016 Olympic 100 meter hurdles champion Brianna Rollins-McNeal.
The 100 is scheduled about halfway through the meet Friday, which should be roughly 12:30 to 1 p.m.
Liao is also expected to compete in the 200 as well as the 4×100 relay Friday as well — assuming the weather cooperates. More rain is expected in the forecast for the end of the week and it could impact times and distances of the events.
CSM has become a favorite of track athletes from around the state and the country because the world-class facilities leads to fast times and long jumps and throws.
For those into the throwing events, you can never go wrong watching the CSM throwers, who are coached by one of the best in the nation in Mike Lewis. Elijah Folau, a freshman out of Serra, improved on his No. 2 CCCAA ranking in the shot put, busting out a 49-11 at Stanford, taking fifth in a nationwide field.
He blew past his previous best of 49-5 set March 8 at Modesto.
If the rain keeps you away this weekend, you’ll still have a couple more opportunities to see some of the best junior college athletes the state has to offer. April 19, CSM hosts the Last Chance meet, which is the final regular-season opportunity for community college athletes to post qualifying marks for the state championship meet May 17-18 — that CSM is also hosting.